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ELF Matte Lip Color Review

As some of you might know, I am a total sucker for matte lipsticks. Sure, now and then I’ll wear a gloss or crème/satin lipstick, but I am utterly in love with matte lip products and always gravitate toward it.

I love trying out different matte lip products, so when I recieved this ELF matte lip color from Accessories By Bwalya, I couldn’t wait to try it out. I do prefer nude lip shades, but I was still very keen to see how this shade would work for me.

Product Claims:

This convenient jumbo sized lip pencil creates exact color application with twist up ease so you never have to sharpen – but we included a sharpener at the base just in case! The pigment rich color glides on effortlessly and easily to provide long lasting matte color. The enriched Vitamin A, C & E formula moisturizes and hydrates lips for beautiful healthy looking lips.


Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Synthetic Beeswax, Microcrystalline Wax (Cera Microcristallina), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Ozokerite, Polyethylene, Ceresin, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Polyisobutene, Neotame, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Retinyl Palmitate (Va), Ascorbic Acid (Vc), Tocopheryl Acetate (Ve)

May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Red 40 Lake (CI 16035), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Red 27 Lake (CI 45410), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850)


This lipsticks packaging reminds me very much of the Colourpop lippie Stix. It’s sort of like a jumbo lip pencil – incased in sleek, matte black with a twist up mechanism and click on lidIt feels quite sturdy and the lid doesn’t come off in your makeup/handbag, which is awesome. The bottom of the packaging indicates the color of the product, but I recently discovered it is actually a little removable sharpener – how handy! You can then sharpen the lipstick a tiny bit when the point is dull so the tip can allow precision application each time or as needed. The product is unscented but I do detect a very slight plastic-y scent when using it. It does go away, but I’m not a fan of the smell. The lipstick is only 1.4grams which is way less product that what I am used to. Quite a bummer, actually.


The texture is very creamy, not at all what you expect from a matte lip product. It reminds me of me (again) of the Colourpop Lippie Stix.

Performance & Longevity:

I applied this to exfoliated lips and because of the pointed tip, application was easy and precise. I didn’t have to worry about a lip liner. Usually with darker colors I always line my lips, but this product is like a lip liner and lipstick in one, so application was quick and easy.

I expected the color to be a classic blue toned red, but it’s more of a cherry toned/pink red. I don’t hate it, but I did expect something more cool toned. After some research I found that the reason ELF’s lip products are never true reds, is because they only make vegan shades. You need carmine to get a true red. Carmine is derived from dried female beetles and gives a true red color to certain products. Because ELF Cosmetics is vegan and cruelty free, none of their products contain carmine. I don’t wear makeup with carmine, so when I checked the ingredients of this lipstick prior to use I was indeed very chuffed.

Now for the disappointing part. The lipstick doesn’t go on very opaque. At all. Neither does it go on as smooth as I’d hoped. It feels very waxy and applies patchy. For a red shade it barely has any pigment. I had to build up application to about 3 layers which resulted in a complete mess. This product claims to be matte, but there is nothing matte about it. In fact, it leaves behind a visable sheen after application. As you can see in the below swatch (which is 3 layers), it gets gooey because of the amount of product used.

After 30 minutes, it was bleeding like crazy. My lips started to feel a tiny bit dry and the lipstick settled into my fine lines, emphasizing them greatly. I then went on to eating and drinking and again, the product messed everywhere. It is not transfer proof at all, and by the time I was done with lunch the only product left on my lips was a slight stain on my top lip. There were stains around my lips as well, due to the lipstick bleeding – it was not a pretty sight! When I reapplied it after eating, it lasted about 1.5 hours before it started bleeding again. It fades very unevenly as well and can sometimes get on your teeth.

The second time around I blotted my lips and as seen below, once blotted/sheered out it looks less like a lipstick and more like a lip stain

It did last a way longer this way (4 hours) and wasn’t as drying and messy, but I’m not fond of lip stains type products at all. It just looks like a red lip balm on me, and after sheering/blotting it out the color looks odd on my skintone.

I suppose if you love lip stains or if you’re fair, this product would work much better for you.


This product just didn’t do it for me unfortunately. I love a pigmented, hardcore matte lipstick so I was a bit disappointed when this product didn’t deliver, especially since it claims to be matte (totally misleading, ELF Cosmetics).

I would recommend this product to those of you who wants something similar (in a sense) to a matte lipstick but that isn’t as drying. I would also recommend this to anyone with fair skin. If you are fair, this product would look beautiful as a lip stain on those “no makeup” makeup days. Unfortunately it is just too light for darker skinned ladies to use as a lip stain, especially if you have pigmented lips (such as mine).

In conclusion I am not crazy about this product at all, but I am interested to try out the shade Praline in this range, as it is said to be a dupe for Kat Von D’s Lolita. For R120 though, I don’t think this is worth it. But it’s up to you guys. Something that didn’t work for me might work great for you, so perhaps do some more research before buying it.

Shade Selection:

These come in 12 shades:

  • Tea Rose – Light Dusty Pink
  • Natural – Pink Mauve
  • Praline – Medium Pink Brown
  • Wine – Deep Berry
  • Cranberry – Deep Red
  • Berry Sorbet – Bright Berry
  • Rich Red – Bright Cool Red
  • Dash Of Pink – Reddish Pink
  • Fuchsia – Bright Pink
  • Scarlet Night – Deep Red
  • Mulberry Maven – Chocolate Berry
  • Hot Commodity – Bright Coral
  • Rowdy Rouge – Orangey Red

Where To Purchase:

You can purchase these from Accessories By Bwalya. She has the shades Berry Sorbet, Mulberry Mavin, Wine as well as Fuchsia in stock. They retail for R120 each and is available here. She also stocks other ELF makeup products as well as some Makeup Revolution and MUA. You can check out her page to view what she has available.

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Disclaimer: this product was sent to me free of charge but that in no way affects my review. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


    • Starluster

      Thats awesome! I am so glad the formula is working for you. I’ve tried a bunch of other ELF products and really enjoyed them, just not sure why this product was so tricky. I’m glad it works for you though. I can’t wait to try our Praline.

    • Starluster

      Thats awesome! I am so glad the formula is working for you. I’ve tried a bunch of other ELF products and really enjoyed them, just not sure why this product was so tricky. I’m glad it works for you though. I can’t wait to try our Praline.

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